The Power of Social in B2B
There’s no denying it; social media is a powerful weapon in any B2B marketer’s arsenal. It can not only help brands communicate directly with their audiences, but it can also help to nurture relationships with prospects, and even contribute to the sales pipe.
Not convinced yet? Well here’s a rundown of how to capitalise on the main B2B social channels; LinkedIn and Twitter with some general best practice tips thrown in too.
Finding prospects: You can find relevant people to connect with by using Advanced Search, or looking into your competitors’ networks. Once you find relevant profiles, look at the ‘People also Viewed’ sidebar. Prospects that have been endorsed are usually peers within your industry, so that’s another good place to search.
Advanced search: Test the waters and sign up for a free trial of LinkedIn Premium for more Advanced Search options; such as job title, function, seniority, etc. LinkedIn Sales Navigator has three specific functions that are quite useful; you can organise prospects into lists (based on personas, industries, etc.), monitor and engage with their content on a combined stream, and filter users who are most active.
Engage in a meaningful way: Once you’ve found relevant people to connect with, do your homework! Monitor the content that prospects are sharing and adopt a bespoke approach when requesting to connect with them, by praising their insights or offering a related perspective or article. Use this opportunity to be helpful and start a meaningful conversation.
Finding prospects: Similar to LinkedIn, by using Advanced Search you can find people who are tweeting about certain keywords such as the latest tech trends, or those mentioning other profiles e.g. your competitors. You can also find prospects amongst competitors, relevant media and industry influencers’ follower bases.
Twitter lists: Twitter lists are a great way to find relevant contacts on Twitter and to also find lists already created by other users around functions and industries you’re prospecting. You can then create your own lists to organise prospects and monitor what they’re talking about, making it easier to engage with them on a regular basis. Monitoring content in these lists also helps to inform your own strategy and create relevant posts. Remember to name your lists appropriately, as anyone you add to them will have visibility of the title.
Engage in a meaningful way: Remember to always add value when retweeting others. Follow industry influencers to keep up with relevant content and conversations. Tagging these influencers is a good tactic to gain followers, primarily because if they engage in conversations with you, their followers will see you as well. Have a library of hashtags to use – you can use tools like hashtagify.me to find the most popular hashtags in your industry.
Personal bio: If you’re using social media for prospecting, your personal bio should be up to scratch. Tailor it to position yourself as a valuable and helpful resource for your prospects. You can do that by addressing their pain points in an expert, yet approachable tone. For example, on your LinkedIn bio, you could position yourself as a thought leader by sharing nuggets of information and useful insights on how you can help, or have helped a client with industry challenges.
Post content on a regular basis: Share helpful content from your own company on a regular basis and also create your own blog posts. You can use the social listening and monitoring tactics mentioned before to tailor your own content (e.g. blog posts on personal blogs or LinkedIn Pulse) in a way that would best resonate with your prospects.
Important to note! Due to the technicalities of social platform algorithms, in order to reach a larger number of people it’s preferable to share posts rather than copy and paste them into a new post. For example: a given post with 10 engagements could reach an average of 300+ views depending on the author’s audience size, whereas if the same message is copied into 10 new posts, each new post would get 5-8 impressions only (50-80 impressions in total instead of 300+!) The final reach is much higher when original posts are shared.